Infamous Somali Pirate Calls it Quits

Number of ship hijackings has dropped


Have we reached — and passed — Peak Pirate?

The dread Somali pirate Mohamed Abdi Hassan — also known as "Afweyne," or "Big Mouth" — is retiring from the hijacking life. Big Mouth has picked a good time to get out of the game: piracy is way, way down.

"After being in piracy for eight years," Big Mouth told a press conference (!) in Somalia on Thursday, "I have decided to renounce and quit, and from today on I will not be involved in this gang activity."

Hassan played a huge role in the late-2000s' resurgence of piracy in the northern Indian Ocean. He and his crew pulled off two of the most audacious hijackings on the high seas in recent history. In 2008, he captured a Saudi-owned supertanker, the Sirius Star, loaded with $100 million worth oil and about the size of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. Hassan got $3 million for the Sirius Star — he had initially demanded $25 million — and the notoriety of hijacking the biggest vessel in history.